It wasn’t long ago that when you wanted a new bathtub, you had a few options to choose from and the process was pretty simple. Today they have technology that could make your head spin, but not only that – there are half a dozen materials you can choose from too! While it may seem overwhelming initially, it really is good news because every client of Mission West Kitchen & Bath can find a material that works for them.
Read on to learn more about the main options and how to choose between them. Then give us a call at (626) 799-3503 or stop by one of our bathroom and kitchen fixtures showrooms to see a lot of these options in person.
The main advantages to an acrylic tub is that they’re lightweight and they’re glossy. This is the type of plastic that you’re used to seeing bathtubs made from. The main downside is that acrylic can scratch fairly easily but keep in mind that it’s also pretty easy to repair when compared to a material like cast iron or metal. Acrylic can also be formed into a variety of shapes, which makes it a popular choice.
Fiberglass-reinforced plastic tubs
These are often very shiny – almost dazzling – in large part because they have a gelcoat on top. That makes them extremely easy to clean, and it also means they can be made in a variety of shapes. For that reason, fiberglass is a popular choice for air tubs and custom whirlpools. The downside is that they’re less durable than some other options. For example, if the impact was strong enough, a single accident could destroy this type of material.
Cast iron tubs
Yes, you likely think of cast iron as something you fry bacon in, but it actually makes a great material for making tubs. It’s extremely durable and typically comes with a porcelain enamel finish that makes it look great. The downside is that you must use non-abrasive cleaners and can’t clean this type of tub vigorously or the enamel can be damaged. In fact, over time the enamel is going to wear away no matter what you do, and this can lead the cast iron to rust.
Finally, keep in mind that the heaviness of cast iron means they hold heat much longer and better than other materials, but it also means that you must install them somewhere with plenty of support.
Another popular option for new bathtubs are composite tubs, which are made out of several materials. In most cases, the composite is the material that makes the bathtub – known as the infrastructure – and then the enamel covers the composite. The purpose is to build a bathtub that’s very durable and able to keep heat like a cast iron tub can, but that doesn’t weigh as much. In fact, they can be as little as one-third of the weight of a cast iron tub.
If you have questions about other materials or the ones listed above, feel free to stop by Mission West Kitchen & Bath or give us a call at (626) 799-3503. Our experienced staff looks forward to helping you with your project!